The following is a Press Release issued by CAAFFE's attorney Jack A. Draper on April 9, 2010:
April 9, 2010
For Immediate Release
Attorney Jack A. Draper, of the Law Offices of Jack A. Draper, P. C., in Oxnard, announced today that he has filed a major class action lawsuit (the “Action”) in Federal Court in Los Angeles today on behalf of local residents Michel Bisnett and Sara Bisnett and the local organization Citizens Against Abusive FEMA Floodzone Expansions (“CAAFFE”), and a large class (the “Class”) of persons consisting of about 1,700 Oxnard property owners who own properties in the area impacted by FEMA’s recently issued 2010 Flood Insurance Rate Map (“2010FIRM”) change, imposed by FEMA over intense local opposition earlier this year. Mr. Draper recalled that the 2010FIRM placed the Class members into the Santa Clara River flood zone in January 2010 and then supposedly negated this action by issuing a separate non-published Letter of Map Revision (“LOMR”) the next day. Mr. Draper remarked at the time this “band-aid” approach at best could suspend the effect of the 2010FIRM temporarily (not rescind it as is demanded in a separate appeal of the entire FEMA flood zone expansion which Mr. Draper filed on behalf of other clients in February 2010).
The Action challenges the right of five major banks (Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo and OneWest Bank of Pasadena; collectively, the “Banks”), and any other banks which may have acted similarly (sued as “DOE” defendants for now), to demand that their respective home loan borrowers in Oxnard purchase flood insurance or face forced placement of flood insurance by the Banks, costing thousands of dollars to the borrower. The Action also asks the court to order the Banks to refund or reimburse borrowers for the cost of any flood insurance they have purchased in acquiescence to the Banks’ demands and to enjoin the Banks from retaliating against the Class for filing the Action, among other items of relief for the Class.
Mr. Draper stated that he will ask the Court to certify the Class in the near future. Mr. Draper has already gathered information from many victims and other sources, which identified the probable size of the class and the Banks as defendants, but there may be other banks who have made similar demands on the Class and should be included as defendants. Mr. Draper’s clients are thus requesting all affected property owners in Oxnard who received bank flood insurance demand letters to email copies of their letters to his client CAAFFE at "email@example.com
" or fax them to (866) 491-2290
. Mr. Draper said he would use this information to present a tally of all the responding property owners, along with his own information, to the Federal court to support the important class certification request which is discretionary and must be approved by the Court before the Action can proceed as a class action. Also, any additional banks identified in this way will be added as defendants so the Class can obtain relief against all involved banks.
The Action has become necessary because as Mr. Draper predicted the FEMA “band-aid” approach to correcting its mistakes has had several damaging effects in the last few months. First, the Banks commenced demanding flood insurance based on the 21010 FIRM in early March 2010. Next, various insurance companies acting as FEMA agents contended that if flood insurance was bought now it would cost about five times more because the “grandfathered” rate was no longer available because the properties are in a flood zone now. The FEMA “band-aid” has thus not resolved the dispute over the 2010FIRM, but rather has led to banks and insurance companies making costly demands on Oxnard property owners in the Class based on it!
Citizens Against Abusive FEMA Floodzone Expansions